Thousands of tiny fists tamping the surface of the lake flowing like a wide river gone crazy, southeast, westnorth letting the wind push it around in its bed and the boat hull hugging the shore. What else can she do? Even the trees agree, shaking their crowns, throwing down their leaves as if she were their only child. Caught cold-footed in Magnuson grass, trying to cut free of the creosote-soaked pilings sunk deep in the shallow mud holding the water, holding her wake for a moment, furrow folding back over into confusion. Cascade gray crosscurrents! Sharp switching eddies! Unreliable shoals! Let the cloth argue with itself, gasping like a child with the air knocked out and the wind socking the center. Let the sail, shot-silk green and white, now snapping, billowing slowly draw her away from this beach marked with broken glass, rocks as smooth as plovers' eggs, and small stones splashed iron red and orange like the sky breaking open. Let the windows ignite flickering copper on the other side. Let the water be disked with silver from here to there churning as if roiled by the flanks of a great, gentle fish.
Lauds for St. Germaine Cousin (1579-1601)
- by Christianne Balk30
Blessed is the One who lifts the slow sun above this morning's raw orange edge, who moves the ewe to nudge her birth- stunned lamb into the flock's heat, who leads the hen to steer her keets as soon as they can walk into the insect- filled, high grass, guides the owl to tear fresh pigeon into pieces small enough to fill the owlet's gaping bill, and prompts the rat to lick the pup that's not her own and take it to her side, directs the swan to trumpet, bob her head, and raise her wings, quivering
into a living canopy above the nest built without hands by those who have no hands, just wings, wings that cannot weave but must and somehow do, just as I twist thread from the distaff's wild wether wool, skirted, sorted, scoured, and drawn into bumps of roving held awry until the sun lifts high enough to warm these slow fingers spinning fast and faster, dropping the spindle like a top, whorling fibers clockwise to pull the yarn taut and straight, plying many into one.
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